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Author Topic: FMR Really Nice Compressor  (Read 23370 times)

Vertigo

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2006, 11:07:40 am »

The resulting sound of a compressor is always going to be source dependent - if you don't like the sound of the RNC on a particular source then use something else. But you WILL find a source you like it on. Just keep working with it.

-Lance
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rankus

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2006, 06:38:21 pm »

xonlocust wrote on Tue, 20 June 2006 10:04



blueboy - i've noticed the same thing with my RNCs, i've thought it was sort of like putting piece of gauze over the signal.  



This was my experience with the rNC as well.

I could hear a definite loss of harmonic content in the signal even in bypass.  

I had taken one to try and returned it the next day... then took my old DBX 160 in for repair and never looked back.  (note the DBX's are a little "grainy" but I kind of like that.)

I even tried one of the newer DBX multi channel (1060?) units and it went back in mere minutes... They just don't make em like they used to. Get an older unit IE: the "160x"


EDIT:  It appears that I may be mistaken about this unit... Please ignore my post, and see Harvey and my comments below...
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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

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Vertigo

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2006, 10:56:13 am »

I actually don't mind the DBX 166's - grainy (like most of the DBX units I've used), but I find that a very good thing on certain sources. I used to use one in parallel on drums and liked it a lot.

I've got a pair of old 163's that are pretty cool on some things too. Thinking about sending them in to Jim Williams for an upgrade. Hmmm...

-Lance
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hargerst

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2006, 02:43:21 pm »

Okay, I just got off the phone with Mark McQ about this.  If you hear it with bypass in, there's something wrong with your cabling or terminating equipment; the RNC is hardwired in bypass mode. He did say that if your next piece of gear is designed for 600 ohm sources, that can roll off the top end, but it ain't the RNC's fault - it's flat out to beyond 100 KHz (down 0.5 dB @ 120 KHz).  

If you're having problems with the RNC, he asked that you call him and he'll do his best to solve the problem.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

spoon

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2006, 12:03:33 pm »

hargerst wrote on Wed, 28 June 2006 13:43

Okay, I just got off the phone with Mark McQ about this.  If you hear it with bypass in, there's something wrong with your cabling or terminating equipment; the RNC is hardwired in bypass mode. He did say that if your next piece of gear is designed for 600 ohm sources, that can roll off the top end, but it ain't the RNC's fault - it's flat out to beyond 100 KHz (down 0.5 dB @ 120 KHz).  

If you're having problems with the RNC, he asked that you call him and he'll do his best to solve the problem.


That's interesting.

I only have a small personal studio but I still made a sheet with all my device I/O options.  With pertinent info like maximum level and ohm requirements (among other bits).  

This helps me identify areas of potential overload and any interface issues (like the ones apparently encountered above).

I did this with my mics too.

I has helped me attach some science (empirical evidence) to the things I hear as I experiment with my setup.

I'm sure others do this...but I wanted to bring to light what a useful tool it can be.

Regards,
David
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hargerst

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2006, 03:03:36 pm »

Good points. Mark also mentioned that a few people who had Neve preamps (or clones) complained about the low end dropping out when hooked to an RNC.  It's not the RNC's fault.  Just make sure the neutral wire of the Neve/Clone's output transformer is tied to ground.  Simple solution.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

rankus

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2006, 10:57:13 pm »


Thanks Harvey.

I retract my complaints about this unit... I must have had an impedance issue that I missed in testing (although I was pretty carefull)... dang!

Perhaps worth noting:  I was coming out of a Brick Pre into the RNC, and I notice one of the neg posts above was also using a brick... It may be that this is a similar issue as with the Neve? (I was going into an RME Multiface card.)

I was careful to have the correct cabling etc.

Crawls away with egg on face....
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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

blueboy

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2006, 12:19:04 am »

As mentioned above, I was coming out of the Brick using the proper cabling into the RNC, then out to an EMU 1820M.

The 1820M has an input impedance of 10k ohm, and is servo balanced so that it can accept a balanced or unbalanced input. I was using a 1/4" unbalanced cable to go from the RNC to the 1820M.

Also as mentioned, I only heard a problem when the RNC bypass mode was "off". With the bypass function "on", it was fine. Some people may find the difference really subtle, and I probably wouldn't have noticed it as quickly if they hadn't put a bypass mode switch on the unit.

I skipped electronics 101 so forgive me if it sounds like I've hooked it up wrong, but as far as I can tell, this setup should work properly.

Does it sound like I may be overlooking something?

JL
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hargerst

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2006, 12:44:44 am »

At this point, why not give Mark a call?  He knows the insides of that beast way better than I do.  His number is: (512) 280-6557

Tell him about this thread and maybe he can explain some stuff to all of us.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

hargerst

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2006, 08:19:26 pm »

blueboy wrote on Thu, 29 June 2006 23:19

As mentioned above, I was coming out of the Brick using the proper cabling into the RNC, then out to an EMU 1820M.

Does it sound like I may be overlooking something?

JL

No you're not overlooking anything.  I just got off the phone with Mark, and yes, there can be a problem using the Brick with an RNC, but it ain't eggzactly the RNC's fault.  

It gets pretty technical, but here's the simple version:

There is a certain range in the Brick's output where the output of the Brick becomes asymmetrical, and produces some nice 2nd harmonic overtones that ain't present in the original signal.  It's distortion, but it's a very nice sounding distortion.

Now, let's move to the RNC for a moment.  Mark has spent most of his life fighting distortion and figuring out ways to get his equipment down to absurdly low levels distortion. Asymmetrical distortion is one of those distortions and Mark has a pot inside the RNC that he hand trims on each unit to reduce asymmetrical distortion in the RNC.  That makes the RNC VERY linear, as many people here have already verified.

So, what happens when you run this signal from the Brick (with it's added asymmetrical distortion) into the RNC?  The RNC basically quotes Shaksphere, and says in effect, "Out, damn Spot", and makes the signal linear again.  

"But" you say, "I like the distortion (or 'rich harmonics')".  "Isn't there a way to keep them?"

Maybe, I don't know for sure, but the RNC isn't the soul problem here; you're running an effects generator when you're using the Brick in this particular range, and the RNC (thinking the incoming signal has a problem) is cleaning up the problem it perceives.

It's a weird situation; both the Brick and the RNC are doing exactly what they're both designed for, but the RNC didn't know that people were actually gonna like and use this type of distortion from time to time.  

If you turn the gain down on the Brick just a little bit, the asymmetrical distortion will disappear and the RNC and Brick will play together happily.  But, since the asymmetrical distortion is something you like, Mark is trying to find a way to let it thru the RNC in some kind of workaround.

It's a one in a million occurance, and it happens only when the Brick is in one particular spot.  

I expect to hear more from Mark on this shortly, and I'm hoping he'll honor us by posting here directly and fielding any technical questions.

And for those of you who are oldtimers here will recall, Mark is well respected by people like Rupert Neve and Dan Kennedy, so insults, name calling, and disrespect will not be tolerated here if Mark does choose to respond.

Keep it civil, speak of what you really know, and maybe we can get a few more manufacturers to visit here and answer questions about their products.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

blueboy

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2006, 10:39:20 pm »

Thanks very much Harvey.

I had sent an email to Mark with a link to this thread a few days ago and I was hoping for a reply soon, but it looks like you beat me to it.

I returned the unit a few weeks ago, but if there turns out to be a solution for the problem I had when using it with the Brick, I'd definitely reconsider the RNC. In fact I would love it if it would work for me.

Hopefully Mark will post a reply on this thread. If not, I will keep you posted with any email reply I receive.

Thanks again.

JL
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rankus

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2006, 06:41:54 pm »



Awesome Harvey!  No wonder you are an "Internet Legend" it's well deserved... you are diligent generous and patient!

It would have been too easy to say "these guys are hearing things" or "what do they know"... etc.

Thanks for tackling this for us Brick users, and for FMR who I'm sure are very appreciative as well... I may very well try this unit again, if we can find a workaround...

And the best part of all this, is the confirmation that my ears work as well as my ego thinks they do. Rolling Eyes

What a great thread from the "lets share knowledge" perspective. This is what this place is all about!
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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

ricknroll

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2006, 08:59:19 pm »

hargerst wrote on Thu, 06 July 2006 17:19


So, what happens when you run this signal from the Brick (with it's added asymmetrical distortion) into the RNC?  The RNC basically quotes Shaksphere, and says in effect, "Out, damn Spot", and makes the signal linear again.  

"But" you say, "I like the distortion (or 'rich harmonics')".  "Isn't there a way to keep them?"

Maybe, I don't know for sure, but the RNC isn't the soul problem here; you're running an effects generator when you're using the Brick in this particular range, and the RNC (thinking the incoming signal has a problem) is cleaning up the problem it perceives.


Maybe I'm missing something, because that explanation doesn't make sense to me.  How could the RNC "know" that part of the signal is asymmetrical distortion?  I'm thinking of how a basic distortion analyzer works...you run a sine wave through the piece of gear you are testing and take the output of that device back into the distortion analyzer.  The distortion analyzer combines a reversed polarity version of the sine wave with the incoming signal and you are left with just the distortion (kind of like the opposite of what balanced cables are designed to do).  But that measurement is predicated on having the original sine wave with which to compare the distorted signal.  How can the RNC "know" there is distortion when the signal going into it already contains the distortion?

Rick (owner of two RNCs and one RNLA)
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hargerst

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2006, 12:55:19 am »

It doesn't "make sense" because that's the simple explanation - without all the techy stuff.  Not super accurate, but good enough, hopefully, until Mark gets here and explains it better.

Basically, in this one very small range of the Brick (Brick gain set around -32 to -35dB), it's putting out exactly the same kind of asymmetrical signal the RNC is tuned to eliminate.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

Andy Peters

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Re: FMR Really Nice Compressor
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2006, 05:55:20 pm »

hargerst wrote on Thu, 06 July 2006 17:19

Asymmetrical distortion is one of those distortions and Mark has a pot inside the RNC that he hand trims on each unit to reduce asymmetrical distortion in the RNC.


I haven't opened up an RNC to see what's inside, so I'll guess that they use a THAT VCA.

Is the pot you mention the symmetry trim pot recommended by THAT on their 2181 VCA data sheet?

Seems to me that every manufacturer using this device has to trim it (or use the laser-trimmed 2181 part).  IOW: whoop-de-do.

-a
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